This is Ian Sandham’s superb 1935 Le Mans Long-Tail. The car was manufactured in 1935 and has Body Number C149 and Car Number 65252, but the engine is not the the original.
During February, March and April 2008 Ian scoured the motoring press and ebay for a pre-war sports car. Finally he found just what he was looking for - Dave Roberts of the Bell Inn Benington, Herts, was selling his 1935 Singer Le Mans on ebay. Dave had purchased the car from his cousin, who had stored tit in a barn in East Coker, Somerset, for several years. Not surprisingly, the car was in 'barn find' condition and needed total restoration. It had arrived at Dave's house in 1982 on a trailer, the bigger parts being tied on and the rest nestling in boxes. The car was about 95% complete. Dave spent some time sorting the boxes and parts before sending the the lot to Trevor Cornelius in 2002. Trevor set to work and in 2003 the car was completely restored and back on the road.
At some point in the car’s life it was supplied by Denmead Motors Hambledon Road, Denmead, Hampshire, and a plaque on the dashboard gives proof to this. The garage has now gone, and flats occupy the site. Ironically, Ian’s brother lives just 60 yards away.
Since buying he car from Dave, Ian has done very little to the bodywork, apart from cleaning it. The hood needed to be modified and Ian had side screens made, which were certainly needed. Dave Roberts had chosen the red paintwork, but Ian believes the original colour was dark blue. The engine that came with the car was a 'bentwire crankshaft' model. The shaft was new in 2006, the previous one having broken, and the block had an Ian Blackburn repair plate bolted to the side. This engine ran very well but Ian was concerned about potential failure in one form or another. So in 2010 he purchased a reconditioned speed block, and persuaded Dave Hardwick to sell him one of the new heads he had had manufactured, and it is this engine which is now in the car.
Ian says the gearbox is getting noisy now, and new bearings are on the menu this winter. He has already had a new propshaft made, so long winter nights and darker days will find him cocooned in the garage getting her ready for the first rays of spring sunshine.